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tv   ABC News Good Morning America  ABC  February 25, 2012 7:00am-8:00am EST

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good morning, america. this morning, outbreak. or the fay does barreling through the south, part of a monster storm hitting two dozen states with whipping winds, snow, sleet, hard rain and hail the size of golf bals. it's not over yet. health scare. nelson mandela hospitalized over night. now under a doctor's care. how serious is this. kennedy controversy. the youngest of robert f. kennedy's sons accused of attacking nurses. kicking one and twisting another's arm. all the while, holding his newborn son in his arms. now the tv reporter is charged with a crime.
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what is behind this mayhem? and count you to os sar. two of hollywood's leading men and good friends with about to square off. what about the comedian who demanded to walk the red carpet in character? have you heard about this hype, about sacha baron cohen's new movie? he plays a dictator. oscars are saying maybe he'll be back on the red carpet. you never know what you're going to get with this guy. we'll show you a funny video he put out when he first heard they were not going to let him do it. >> will the oscar producers cave? gas prices setting another unfortunate record is setting off something of a crime spree.
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somebody turned that minivan into gas-stealing machine. what happened to this missing firefight person the father and husband now missing a week. why do the police want to talk to this couple? it's our obligatory animal story of the morning. can animals actually laugh? there's a researcher who is on a quest. she's been tackling mans. her results are surprising and scientifically significant. we start with the beast of a storm that has been marching across america. heavy snow, hard rain, hail, high winds, tornadoes. ginger zee has been all over this story all morning. >> from record heat in the southeast to blizzard and winds in the rockies. three days of winter, spring, and summer to two-thirds of the
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nation. it's been dangerous situation. >> it's very hard to see that it's gone. >> reporter: tornadoes tore across the south on friday, as many as seven reported. this home in south carolina destroyed by the 135-mile-per-hour winds of an ef-2 twister. powerful wind and giant hail walloped nine states. nearly 150 severe weather reports from maryland to florida. at our georgia affiliate -- >> we got hail. check it out. >> reporter: nearby, parking lots turned into lakes. and side walks to rushing rivers. in the carolinas, winds pulled trees up while storms near savannah brought power lines down. in maryland -- >> it just devastating everything. i mean, ripped the brick off. took poles down. did a lot of damage.
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>> reporter: to the north, more powerful winds. with them, snow. lots of snow. on the roadways of michigan, buried big rugs and crumpled compacts lay in the wake of half a foot of thick, sticky snow. >> it's heavy. the roads are real slippery. >> reporter: the winter blast brought happier time, too. wisconsin a wonderland, perfect for sledding and snow sculptu s sculptures. in thought, they took things with grain or several of salt. >> two snows all year? this is fabulous. >> reporter: the severe threat is out. there is some wind left. high wind warnings all over the northeast from maine, south to new york city. 40 to 60-mile-per-hour gusts likely. a a windy day for many folks.
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not as severe. much more coming up, including an oscar forecast. you don't want to go anywhere. >> it's hard to experience the winds here this morning. lerts go ron claiborne with other developing stories. good morning, everyone. former south african president nelson mandela is hospitalized this morning. the 93-year-old was complaining of abdominal pain. his public appearances have become rare in recent years. he's said to be in good spirits. the president is promising to put pressure on syria to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians. at least 50 people were killed on friday, so claimed activists. the red cross was allowed in the city of homs. new questions about the possible coverup in the scandal at penn state university. investigators are trying to find
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out if board members made undisclosed payments related to the situation. the university is ordered to save all records and e-mails related to sandusky. one of robert f. kennedy's sons is in trouble after being charged with fighting with nurses. douglas kennedy reportedly kicked one nurse to the ground when they tried to stop him from carrying his newborn son from the maternity ward. finally, taylor swift had to turn down an offer to go on to the prom with a new jersey teenager who is fighting cancer. she had a better invitation for him. to be a guest of hers at the academy of country music awards. the sister started the campaign. >> i think they had 100,000 people on that thing. >> she's a class act, that taylor swift. now to the gas prices
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fueling anger and outrage from coast to coast. the national average pushing $4 a gallon. the most expensive it's ever been this time of year. prices already higher than that in many places. expected to continue to climb. gas is like like window gold for some drivers. they're going all out to get it, even stealing it. mark greenblatt is at a gas station in manhattan with more. >> reporter: most bank robberies involve guns, masks, and confrontations. now the most sophisticated gas station heist can go off leaving the retailer high and dry and the station doesn't have a clue. gas price this is high, you might feel like you're getting robbed. the police say this week near tampa -- >> it does appear that this is on the upswing again. not jus here but across the state. >> reporter: thieves name to this station to pull off a sophisticated heist.
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you're looking at a crime scene. the weapon, not a gun but this minivan. and the loot, not gold but gasoline. the van parks overthe underground storage tanks. a hidel trapped door opened up. thieves drob drop a line down so they can pump up the gas and store it in their own tanks hidden in the van. when prices hike, crooks try to turn gas into cash. like when this new jersey man drives away without paying, dragging a clerk with him. >> we're seeing an evolution in how gas is stolen. >> reporter: or just two week ago in oklahoma city, police say they caught this man siphoning gas from a parked truck. when he tries to flee, they shoot him. all across the country reports of siphoning are pouring in. just like what happened in 2008. it was miami when gas prices peaked. the driver opens his door to
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block the view and the passenger unlocks the pump with a stolen key. the pump's flow opens up while a third mangos to distract the cashi cashier. gas prices and crime boast on the rise again. now one small town in minnesota is fighting back. passing a law requiring resident there is to pay before they go to the pump. what can you do at home? one idea is to buy one of these locking gas caps for about 15 bucks. if a thief comes to take your gas they don't have a key, they're probably not going to get to your gas. dan? >> gas prices are a combustible issue in the presidential race. it's "your voice, your vote." battleground michigan. as this due or die moment, the romney campaign dealing with two missteps.
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let's get more from david kerley in washington. good morning, david. >> reporter: you're right. we're at this very critical point with the michigan primary days away. romney in a little bit of trouble so he needs to get everything right. so what were they thinking? >> i give you the next president of the united states, mitt romney. >> reporter: how did they get it so wrong. romney in a cavernous football state yum. the stands empty. not much better outside where workers remind him he opposed the bailout. >> i love cars. >> reporter: that didn't stop romney who awkwardly drew attention to his wealth again when he called himself a car guy. >> a drive a must tank and a chevy pickup truck. ann drives a couple of cad lails
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cadillacs. >> reporter: one at a home on the west coast, one in boston. he wants to raise the eligibility age for medicare. >> those are the common sense changes we have to have. we have to fix the balance sheet. >> reporter: the michigan primary is proving to be a pivotal moment in the campaign. the gloves are off. >> while i was fighting to save the olympics, you were fighting to save the bridge to nowhere. >> rick santorum is called the ultimate washington insider. >> reporter: he has a punch or two left. he's hitting romney in a new ad. >> who is on the side of michigan workers? not romney. >> reporter: negative on the air, but last night, he was mr. nice. >> we have seen just too much nasty politics on issues that, well, frankly, i haven't even talked about.
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>> reporter: he may have toned it down a little bit last night. expect him to continue to go after mitt romney. he'll call him a resolute liberal. it's a critical pivot point in the race. they're racing for the last vote there is in michigan. >> the "l" word, a big fighting point. thank you, david kerley. you'll want to watch tomorrow morning as george stephanopoulos goes one on one with rick santorum. a case now going trial. a foerm college student accused of using a web cam to spy on his roommate's sexual encounter with another man. an thakt came to light after the roommate jumped off a bridge. >> reporter: far from an open and cut case here. zwr was the spying kids being kids or was it malicious and motivate
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by hate? >> bring the jury in? >> reporter: worse than a bully, prosecutors are trying to convince jurors that dharun ravi is a bigot. >> they were not an accident or mistake. they were mean-spirited, malicious, and they were criminal. >> reporter: ravi was a freshman when he allegedly used a web cam to spy on his 18-year-old roommate, tyler clementi, during a romantic encounter with another man. the prosecution claimed those were not a college prank but a hate crime. >> they were meant to expose tyler. his sexual orientation. >> reporter: three days later, clementi, a violin virtuoso took his own life jumping off the george washington bridge.
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>> if it can get better for me, it can get better for you. >> reporter: even the president submitted a video. >> and every day, it gets better. >> reporter: in the courtroom, the suicide is not what's on trial. it's not at issue. only the spyi. for that, ravi faces charges up to bias intimidation. hate crime that carries up to ten years in prison. proving he did what he did because of a hatred of gays may be difficult. >> reporter: at the time, ravi was only 18. >> might be stupid at times. but he's an 18-year-old boy and not a criminal. >> reporter: they offered a plea deal early on. ravi rejected the deal maintaining his actions were not motivated by hate or bias.
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i had the opportunity to interview tyler clementi's family. they said ravi never apologized. they were expecting that. we're going delve into a mystery this morning. what happened to this firefighter? s he vanished into thin air while visiting friends. why has this couple been acting so mysteriously. tanya rivero is here. >> reporter: strange case. jerry's absence is deeply felt in his florida fire house. two of his fellow firefighters have flown to maine to help search for the former marine. about 30 more are set to help. every day since this florida firefighter has gone missing, the mystery deepened. it started a week ago when
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jerry, a 31-year-old married father of two rented a car and left his florida home to visit a friend in maine some 1600 miles away. he was last heard from last thursday. the next day, his car was found in this walmart parking lot with no sign of perdomo and no sign of foul play. police have been investigating ever since. >> this case is a mystery. it has a lot of moving parts that we cannot connect at this point. we don't know if something happened to this firefighter. we don't know if he's just disappeared on his own. >> reporter: police are not calling this a criminal investigation. they asounsed thursday they want to speak to daniel porter and cheyenne nowak. police believe they had contact with him. they, too, seem to have vanished. until now. investigators caught up with them on friday. after been questioned and
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released, their involvement remains unknown. >> we're not going to answer any questions at this point. >> reporter: but the 23-year-old nowak has minor drug charges in her past listed this on her facebook page. i'm sorry for your loss. i'm sorry your friend is missing. it's a terrible thing. i am so sorry but i can do nothing further. >> he's not proven guilty. that's all i can tell you. >> reporter: more strange behavior from a couple they bought a used car and abandoned the one they were driving, saying they only had to leave town because of an emergency. another tantalizing clue in a case with so many open questions. the mystery now involves yet another maine woman. she told a local tv station perdomo was staying with her the night he went out and never returned. so many unanswered questions. let's get back over to ginger for a look at the
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national forecast. >> good morning to both of you. we say good-bye to the big storm that rocked the eastern third of the nation, a new storm to say hello to in the pacific northwest. up to 30 inches of snow will fall. not quite as windy for denver as it heads east. let's move to the next part of our story. washington, d.c. today cooler, 40. 41 for columbia, south carolina. as far as the oscar forecast, daytime high, 64. later in the >> good morning, it was a wrestling night. temperatures in the mid-to- r 40's. 40 miles per hour dusts. that kind of day. have a wind advisory today. havave winter weathther advisor it in so of the higher
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pin y you can see the whipping awful late. that low pressure system means a >> you have got to see the facebook photo this is week. the first one makes me hungry. it reminds me of a cake that rolls over. >> i like the way you think. >> michael, thank you, from minnesota. and the twitter name is down there, redidbull. he says he's had these skylights for two decades. never seen this before. an interesting frost freeze. >> we're excitingly counting down to the academy awards this morning. less than 36 hours until hollywood's biggest nights. the they're shaping up to be a fight between best friends. the battle between brad and george. ♪ >> reporter: hey, bud, it's on.
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sunday's oscar ceremony will bear witness to friend versus friend showdown. former pals competing in the same category. going head to handsome head, brad pitt and george clooney. their bond has been on view in the oceans movie. >> are you watching oprah? with a bottle of wine? >> reporter: now they're vying for the best actor oscar. bitter rivals? not so much. >> i'm happy that everyone could come. this is where we all get together and catch up. >> reporter: while george commandeered brad's cane. >> i have to give it back. he can't make to it the bar otherwise. >> reporter: viola davis and meryl streep sharing the awards. >> i love you. you're my girl. >> reporter: yet no friends have been happier for the other's success than melissa mccarthy
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and octavia spencer. >> we look at each other. what is happening? >> octavia spencer. >> reporter: she proved it with pure emotion. there's melissa crying tears of joy for you also. >> she's one of my favorite people on the planet. >> reporter: even amid friendly rivals, everyone nose that 4 of 5 nominees will go home without an oscar. >> i've been nominated a lot before. on your way in, people are like, hey, you're nominated. on the way out, they're like, oh, i'm sorry. >> reporter: reports for "good morning america," chris connelly, abc news, los angeles. >> i like the way he puts it. one of the biggest cliff hangers leading up to the oscars involved the comedian, sacha baron cohen, who is demanding to walk the red carpet as the dictator he place in his new movie. the producers were against it. but cohen, or rather the
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general, would not take no for an answer. >> while i applaud the academy for taking away my right to free speech, i warn you, if you do not give me my tickets back by 12:00 p.m. on sunday, you'll face unimaginable consequences. death to the west. death to america. and good luck. you're fantastic. how was that? zid i sound crazy enough? >> and this just in. the academy has said despite their concerns, they won't stop him. we'll have to wait and see if he'll walk the red carpet tomorrow night. 7:00 p.m. eastern is when the oscars start. right here on abc. you want to watch "gma" on monday for the huge oscar afterparty. >> it will be a big night. coming up this morning, why are scientists tykeling mans to find out if they respond and to
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learn more about them and us. a new twist in a bizarre murder case. the man who said demons resembling barry white and olivia newton john told him to kill his lover's husband? and why she was thrown out of the courtroom. we'll have more coming up. will: hello earth. so good to see you, seeing me. we know you find tv irresistible. and hulu. yeeeaahhhh. now, follow me... ... below the curtain. to the hu-luboratory. where we make the irresistible, irresistibl-er. worker1: (theme song from the x-files) worker2: (the "gung-gung" from law and order.) catchphraser1: "they killed kenny" catchphraser2: "you are correct sir" will: and. our latest silver bullet... hulu plus. full seasons and full series runs of your favorite shows--
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was a veryday, it night. windows rattled. again, this morning, it is chilly. of the gusts, 3131 houour.r .'sratures i in the the coldest days of the weeks.uple of
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advisory in effect it .oall of us far west, we have a .inter weather advisor it -- advisoryry appeared the is coming in that direction.kwise hold onto your hats today. mostly sunnyny condiditions. the wind will coinue into the ours.ight tomorrow, the nd will abate. we heainto theast couple of of february and we rebound the 50's ando 60's march is t coming in like a lion. enjoy your day.
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♪ oh sometimes i get a good feeling ♪ yes, in case you're wondering, those are humans tickling animals. this is not just about viral videos. there's a scientist who dedicated her career to whether animals can laugh. the results are fascinating. we're going meet her coming up. good morning, america. i'm dan harris. >> and i'm bianna golodryga. did you tickle animals there? >> no. also coming up this morning, a special "your three words." this time, it's starring some of hollywood's biggest celebrities. what does george clooney have to say? see what happens.
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the bizarre trial that stems from a murder outside of day care center. on friday, the judge kidded the widow out of court. she's a woman who may be the mistress of her husband's killer. if you're a little bit confused, reena ninan joins us to connect the dots and clarify for us. good morning to you. >> reporter: that's right. the attention hasn't been on the victim or the accused in this trial. the past few days, the focus has turned towards the widow. >> andrea sneiderman. >> reporter: she's the widow of the man shot to death in their son's day care parking lot. the prosecution and defense were united in getting her banned from the courtroom. >> i'm going to ask her removed from the courthouse. >> reporter: this, after bizarre behavior in the courthouse. right in front of the judge and jury, she hugged and kissed one
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of the witnesses, her close friend for the past ten years. her testimony alluded that sneiderman may have been having ai an fair with her husband's killer, hemy neuman. she went into the witness room when told not to enter. >> she's making statements, that's not true, that's a lie, you weren't there. i've almost turned and snapped and told her to shut up. >> reporter: instead, attorneys agreed to bar her from court. she may be brought back to testify at later date. >> she's lucky to just have been banned. potentially, she could be charged with tampering with a witness, contempt of court. >> reporter: hemy neuman has
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pled not guilty by reason of insanity, claiming he was told by angels olivia newton john and barry white to kill him. now rusty snyderman, the man who was killed, his wife seems to have become the focus of the case. both sides worry about a mistrial. something neither of them want to see happen. >> strange case on a thousand levels. let's go to ron for the other storie stories. hi, again, dan, bianna. in the news, nelson mandela said to be in good spirits this morning after being taken to the hospital after complaining of abdominal pain. protests over the burning of korans have turned deadly again. thousands of people flooded the straights for a fit day.
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two foreigners were killed at the interior ministry. a clarification of a story from yesterday. we reported that sears is closing 1200 stores. the company says it is not closing the stores. rather spinning them off to the 1200 outlet, hometown, and certain hardware stores. they'll become a new company. finally, a penny for your thoughts. about 100,000 for a traffic game. about $1,000 poured out on the a highway after the back door of an armored truck flew open. if they had been bills, it might have been a bigger traffic jam. time for the weather and ginger. >> we start with video from cape cod. often, the whales will start showing themselves a little later in the season. all of the above average temperatures have allowed them to come up a lot earlier. some sights and nice things coming from that severe weather
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and all of the strapg weather. it's going to go back to average or below average in the southeast president they had record highs as far south as florida. today, 56 atlanta. across the nation, a new storm in good morning, washington give day, blessy reconditions, and a wiwind advisory today. high temperatures about 49 degrees. will feel >> this weather report brought to you by grkts arnier. coming up, giggling gorillas. the science of make animals laugh. how tickling them can unlock secrets. and star-studded "your three words." some of hollywood's biggest
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loyal viewers of this show will know that i'm obsessed with
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mans. when i heard there's a scientist pegging her career on the science of tickling mans, i had to check it out. every human being knows how to laugh. [ laughter ] >> reporter: is this a trait we share with mans? listen closely to this. and this. are these animals actually laughing? >> we have been studying laughter. the evolution of laughter. >> reporter: this doctor is on a quest. >> this is the tickling session. with the gorilla. >> reporter: and this quest maeds her the world's foremost expert in, wait for it, man tickling. for the past seven years, she's observed chuckling chimps and cracked up canines. >> sammy. >> reporter: watch as this british zoo cooper approach this
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is gorilla so carefully before going in for the tickle. if you listen closely, you can hear the gorilla laugh. she tries to tickle back. >> it's a nice feeling when they have accepted you enough that they don't mind you tickling them and they respond by laughing. >> reporter: videos like this make up the bulk of the research. she and her assistants scour youtube looking for the best tickling tape out there. what they learn is invaluable the. >> with the help of youtube, we learned a lot about other animals. some of these manls show have specific play vocalizations. >> reporter: what do the videos tell us? humans and maapes share more th we thought. [ laughter ] >> reporter: the more we learn
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about the silar larts, the more we, humans, can help our friends in the animal kingdom. >> it's important for man welfare and conservation management. to know how to treat animals. >> reporter: next time you tickle your pet, put it on youtube. consider it to be in the service of science. a, there's no way i could tickle a gorilla. b, the coolest one was the penguin. look that. he's getting into it. we want to ask, by the way, if you have a ticklish pet. the scientist in the story is looking for new videos. you can be part of it. go to for details on how to help. we're coming back in just a minute. >> we're going tickle our coanchor. he's very ticklish. coming up, "your three words."
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well, it's time for a very special celebrity edition of "your three words." as we count down to the academy award, some of the nominees share their hopes and fears. the song is sooner of later. by mat kearney. >> is this all about the oscars? >> you got it. >> oh, looel be 51 by then. >> oh wait, watch this.
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♪ baby it's like we're slipping on a wire to the fear take my hand we'll get there ♪ ♪ sooner or later i swear we're gonna make it gone ma make it sooner or later i swear we're gone ma make it ♪ ♪ we're gonna make it all you have to do is get up there i'll keep chasing it i always with snoets sooner or later i swear we'll make it there sooner than later ♪ ♪ sooner or later ♪ sooner than later ♪ sooner or later ♪ we're all waiting on a dream that's hard to own ♪ ♪ sooner or later trying to feel the high without the low ♪
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♪ you know you can feel the fire in the night ♪ ♪ lying here baby it's like we're walking on a wire through the fear take my hand we'll get there ♪ ♪ sooner or later i swear we're gonna make it gonna make it sooner or later i swear ♪ ♪ gonna make it gonna make it you can always try to get up there i'll keep chasing it always will notice sooner or later i swear we'll make it there sooner than later ♪ ♪ sooner or later. the fear inside the hills we've climbed this side of heaven all these dreams inside of me ♪ ♪ i swear we're gonna get there.
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sooner or later we're gonna make it sooner or later note ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ i know i swear we're gonna make it gonna make it sooner or later ♪ ♪ i swear we're gonna make it gonna make it i can say that it always will sooner or later i swear we'll make it there sooner than later ♪ ♪ here it is this side of
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heaven ♪ ♪ all these dreams inside of me i swear we're gonna get there we're gonna get there ♪ >> back to reality. ♪ sooner or later ♪ we're gonna get there sooner or later ♪ >> hey, gary oldman. >> it must feel good to be nominated for an oscar? >> i would think so. >> you want to share your three words, go to and upload your video. we would love to see them. we're going to be right back. ♪ is it fast? it's got a lightning bolt on it, doesn't it? ♪ is it fast? i don't even know if it's street legal. ♪ is it safe? oh ya, it's a volkswagen. [ male announcer ] the security of a jetta, one of nine volkswagen models
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that's it? >> that's it. >> the show's over? >> it is very difficult when bianna and ginger tickle you together. >> no, don't, don't. no, no, stop, stop. come on. ow! >> thanks for watching. see you tomorrow morning. >> you planned that, didn't you? >> live and in hd, this is an abc 7 news update. good morning @ 7:56. three firefighters remain in the morning including condition and a of seven were hurt in a fire in riverdale last night home causing a
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fireball. are invested in a deadly that head and killed a early this morning on road.ry were ticketmaster this morning, prepared to run into on all but the yellow line. trains are single tracking until opening monday morning. good morning, hold onto your because the blustery last night will be repeated today. this is a beautiful shot and you can see the sun glinting off the waters of the potomac. look at the wind gusts over night -- 41 in bowie. temperatures are in the mid to r 30's but it feels much colder and that will be the y today in the winter area advisory well to west and starting at 8:00, wind advisory until 6:00 this evening with up to 40 miles per hour.
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some lake-effect snow is coming as western maryland and out in the western suburbs. 40 feet -- 45 degrees by noon and which could top that in the l like40's but it will fee e upper 30's. the winds will start to subside tomorrow a nicer day, 45-50 and less when de. thank you for watching and we hope you have a great day.
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